For what seems like an eternity, Texas has been the most valuable program in college football, but that's no longer the case.
In-state rival Texas A&M has just overtaken Texas as the most valuable football program in the land – at least for now.
Across the three years prior to last season, Texas A&M averaged annual revenues of $148 million, the most of any program in the nation. That not only tops the Longhorns; it leaves them in the dust. Over the same time period, Texas football averaged $133 million in revenue, making the Longhorns a distant second.
It's been widely reported that the Aggies closed the gap with the cross-state rival Longhorns because of a vast increase in contributions. And indeed, from 2014 through the 2016-17 season, the Texas A&M athletic department earned $260 million in contributions, nearly double what any other school made in that time. For reference, in those years, Texas had total athletic contributions of $123 million; Florida, which ranks second in the category, totaled contributions of $138 million. Texas A&M, meanwhile, allocated $119 million of its total contributions just to the football team.
Texas A&M's rise to the top isn't just from alumni contributions, though. The team ranks third in ticket revenue, averaging some $41 million per year, and it's sixth in money from royalties and licensing. And the 2012 move to the SEC certainly hasn’t hurt – the conference’s most recent revenue distribution was $41 million per member school while Big 12 programs each received just $34 million from their conference.
There's no telling how long it will last. Forbes notes that the contributions are likely to dwindle after the completion of Kyle Field renovations, especially if Texas A&M doesn't rise out of mediocrity in the SEC sooner than later.
But for now, the Aggies are at the top.
Ohio State is fifth on the list, coming in behind No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Alabama. Behind Ohio State is Oklahoma at No. 6, followed by Notre Dame, Auburn, LSU and Florida rounding out the top 10.
In all, 10 SEC programs and seven schools from the Big Ten cracked the top 25. Here's a full look at the top 25, from Forbes: